A sexual tryst gone awry threatened to become an international incident yesterday, after a local newspaper ran a sensational story involving a Taiwanese woman and a US West Point cadet.
The Chinese-language United Daily News, a pro-unification newspaper, printed front page coverage of allegations by an unidentified woman who said she had sex with a visiting student from the US Military Academy at West Point. In the article, the woman did not make any specific claims that the man raped her, but said she felt "uncomfortable" after the hotel room tryst.
The United Daily News reported that a student surnamed Chuang (
The West Point cadet, who will be not identified because he has not been charged with any crime, was in Taiwan on a three-week exchange program.
According to the United Daily News report, Chuang invited several women to the club, including one of his elementary school classmates.
The woman, a 24-year-old college student, drank with Chuang, the cadet and others until Chuang left late in the evening, the newspaper reported.
The United Daily News report said that the West Point cadet then took the woman, who said she was "half drunk" at the time, to the Evergreen Hotel in Tainan and had sex with her.
However, a source who spoke to the cadet said that the woman's story as reported in the United Daily News misrepresented events.
The source said that the cadet -- who speaks no Mandarin or Taiwanese, and has been in Taiwan for only a week -- asserts that the woman accompanied him into a taxi, gave the driver directions to a hotel, booked a room, and took a shower before voluntarily engaging in intercourse.
According to the United Daily News report, the woman said that she was still "considering" whether she should say no when intercourse began and ended in less than one minute.
She told the United Daily News that the West Point cadet had then said "I am sorry" to her.
The next day, the United Daily News said, the woman felt "uncomfortable about what happened" and reported the "incident" to the academy. She also talked to a United Daily News reporter.
When the paper hit the streets, politicians quickly turned the matter into a political issue.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Nan-sheng (
He blamed the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and, more specifically, Vice Minister of National Defense Lin Chen-yi (
"Shame on you, vice minister!" Lin Nan-sheng said.
Echoing Lin Nan-sheng, KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (
"So, is this how you treat West Point cadets? Maybe it is also the same way you treat any soldier from one of our allies?" Lin Yu-fang said. "This is absurd! This is a shame! This is a disgrace!"
Meanwhile, the military said it would investigate the allegations to determine if any criminal act had occurred.
Lin Chen-yi said that if it were determined that the West Point cadet had acted criminally, he could face prosecution.
"The alleged victim in the case and the West Point cadet told us different stories about what happened that night. If the result of our investigation decides that the cadet must take certain legal responsibilities, we will indict him," Lin Chen-yi said.
Yesterday afternoon, the ROC Military Academy Spokesman Colonel Lin Hsieh-hsiang (林協詳) said that the woman had contacted the academy by telephone on Sunday, but added that she had not claimed to have been raped at any time during the call.
Lin Hsieh-hsiang told her that the academy would handle the case by the book.
The woman said that she wanted to remain anonymous.
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